Red Sox News: Eduardo Rodriguez on the mend after bullpen slip
Boston Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez had a minor setback in spring training camp this week after slipping while throwing a bullpen session.
Things are in full swing at Fenway South as the Red Sox are working their way towards Opening Day. The squad is 2-0 to start the preseason with wins over Northeastern and Tampa over the weekend. Though things are off to a hot start for Boston, there was a hiccup in camp this past week as Eduardo Rodriguez suffered a setback to his preparation for 2020.
Per Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald, the southpaw was tossing in the bullpen when one of his spikes got caught in the dirt and he fell on the mound. E-Rod was one of Boston’s breakout stars in 2019 and was one of, if not, the most reliable pitcher on the staff.
Eddie posted a phenomenal 19-6 record through 203.1 IP with a 3.81 ERA and 1.328 WHIP. Rodriguez did see his walk total increase to 75 from 45 in 2019 but he also made 11 more starts, so that’s not a shock.
With David Price now in Los Angeles and Rick Porcello in New York, the Red Sox will need Eduardo to be on his game more than ever. Luckily for Boston, the lefty feels this is nothing compared to his previous knee issues in his right knee.
Rodriguez already tossed a bullpen session yesterday and is working towards a simulated game tomorrow. If all goes well then he should be right where he needs to be to make his Grapefruit League debut this week.
"“It just felt like a twist when I went down, when I rolled a little bit,” he said Saturday. “But nothing crazy on it. I threw a regular bullpen today.”"
Potential has always been the word used in relation to E-Rod. We’ve always heard about the high ceiling and what he could be capable of if he ever put in the work. I’m not saying he never put in the effort before but we rarely saw him come close to what we heard in the whispers. Then in 2018, it seemed like things began to click and 2019 saw him kick the damn door down.
With this year’s team in even worse shape in the way of starting pitching, he’ll need to not only repeat his performance from last year but exceed it. Eduardo won me over last year with each start and I even got to see him pitch live against the Orioles where he froze their offense. He’s beyond talented enough to take over this staff, especially with the aging stars that surround him in the rotation.
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As I said before, Rodriguez is no stranger to knee issues but he made sure to calm everyone’s nerves in relation to his fall Wednesday.
"“I know how it is when something is really, really bad,” Rodriguez said Saturday. “It happened to my right knee like 10 times. Now I know how it is. This was not even close to the one with the right knee.”"
That’s a big relief to Red Sox Nation, add in the fact that he’s already throwing again and is on target to make his start this week, and things are looking good. If Eddie Aces truly can avoid missing time and suffer any real setbacks before the season, that allows Boston to at least not fall deeper into the pitching hell they’re already in.
Newly appointed interim manager Ron Roenicke was also very confident that Rodriguez won’t be missing any time and is optimistic that things will go smoothly before Opening Day.
"“When he fell the other day, the knee got a little sore,” Roenicke said. “It is not like the other knee where he had issues. This is a minor thing, at least right now it certainly is. But he’s still a little uncomfortable with it."
Roenicke has enough on his plate with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred STILL dragging his feet with the investigation into the 2018 season, as well as filling roster spots vacated via departures. Adding a name to the IL before the season even starts is the last thing he needs right now.
This will be a big season for the Red Sox as they’re only two years removed from winning a World Series but have the massive stink of failure all over them. Eduardo Rodriguez was a major asset to former manager Alex Cora over the last two seasons and likely will be under Roenicke in 2020.
His health and pitch management could be the difference come September if Boston makes it to the Postseason. It’s a positive sign that he’s already back on the mound after the fall and is ready to get back to work. The Red Sox will need every weapon they have to keep pace with the rest of the American League and Eduardo Rodriguez is one of the best that they have in the arsenal.